Sports

Backlund, Bouma help Flames, defeat Pens, snap skid

Mikael Backlund scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Lance Bouma added another in the third and the Calgary Flames ended a seven-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Backlund scored his 13th and Bouma his second of the season. Joe Colborne scored his 11th of the season and Mark Giordano his 16th for the Flames, who won in Pittsburgh for the first time in more than a decade.

Joni Ortio stopped 29 shots for his first win in nine games this season.

Sidney Crosby scored both goals for Pittsburgh and has 28 on the season. He has seven points in his past four games. Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for Pittsburgh.

Calgary last won in Pittsburgh Dec. 3, 2005, when Crosby was a fresh-faced rookie, skating alongside team owner Mario Lemieux.

Calgary ended a four-game East Coast road trip by snapping a seven-game losing streak, avoiding a second straight season with an eight-game skid.

The Flames, who lost 10 of their previous 11 games, won for the first time since Feb. 19 against Vancouver.

They also ended a six-game road losing streak as Calgary endured a rough trip before Saturday's win, allowing at least five goals in four of the previous seven games.

Instead, the Flames shut down a Pittsburgh team that scored at least four goals in three of its previous four games.

Pittsburgh, which won 12 of its previous 16 at home, had an opportunity to jump Detroit for the top wild-card spot and move one point from the New York Islanders for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Pittsburgh, which won five of its previous eight, will begin a four-game road trip and a stretch of nine straight games against Metropolitan Division opponents Sunday at New Jersey.

Backlund put the Flames ahead four seconds after a double minor to Pittsburgh's Tom Kuhnhackl expired with his 13th goal of the season. Calgary managed just three shots during a lackluster power play until Backlund redirected Dougie Hamilton's pass above a sprawled Fleury.

Bouma gave the Flames a two-goal lead when he collected a rebound in the slot and wristed a shot over Fleury's glove hand.

Both teams scored in the first 1:58 of the game.

Crosby's shot awkwardly caromed off the end boards, hitting Ortio's skate. Colborne tied it soon after, getting a skate on Sam Bennett's backhand to the net.

The teams traded goals less than two minutes apart again in the second period.

Crosby gave the Penguins the lead when he deflected Patric Hornqvist's slap shot over Ortio's left shoulder and Giordano tied it 1:29 later with a sharp wrist shot over Fleury's glove hand.

NOTES: Penguins F Josh Archibald made his NHL debut. ... Pittsburgh scratched recently acquired D Justin Schultz for the second straight game, while Calgary sat G Niklas Backstrom, who was acquired on Feb. 29. ... Calgary will begin a six-game homestand Monday against San Jose. ... Penguins F Kevin Porter will miss the rest of the season following an injury suffered Thursday against the Rangers. ... Injured Penguins forwards Beau Bennett and Eric Fehr practiced with the team on Friday.